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At Home and Away: America East Championships

Swimming and diving, track and field offer plenty of excitement

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At January’s Terrier Invitational, Shelby Walton (CAS’12) broke a 31-year school record in the 200-meter dash. Photo by Steve McLaughlin. Kyle Ernst (COM’11) (below) is the school record holder in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke. Photo by Kristyn Ulanday.

A monster adrenaline rush hits the BU Track & Tennis Center Friday morning, as the two-day 2011 America East indoor track and field championships get under way, pitting the BU women’s team, which from 2006 to 2009 took four straight indoor championships and finished second last year, against rival and conference champion Albany.

Runners to watch in the two-day event include sprinter Shelby Walton (CAS’12), who broke a 31-year-old school record in the 200-meter dash at the Terrier Invitational on January 29. Walton finished the race in 23.95 seconds, just 0.05 seconds faster than the previous record holder. Hurdler and long jumper Nikko Brady (CGS’11), multievent specialist Allison Barwise (CGS’11), hurdler Catherine Milledge (CGS’11), and distance runners Katie Matthews (SAR’12) and Rosa Moriello (CGS’12) have all posted marks in their respective events that qualify for the ECAC championship.

Brady took first place in the 60-meter hurdles at the BU Multi-Team Meet January 20 and the Battle of Beantown February 4, where she also won the long jump competition. Barwise won the high jump at the Multi-Team Meet and Battle of Beantown, also claiming the Harvard pentathlon title.

On the men’s side, the track and field team hopes to build off its cross-country conference championship and snatch its first-ever indoor title. In the mile run, sprinter Rich Peters (CGS’12) broke a school record and qualified for the NCAA championships at last weekend’s Valentine Invitational. He completed the race in 3:58.26, less than one second faster than the previous record holder. Peters also set a meet record at the Battle of Beantown in the 3,000-meter run.

Transfer Matt Paulson (CAS’12) won the mile and 800-meter runs at the BU Multi-Team Meet and set a meet record in the mile at the Battle of Beantown. He also qualified for the IC4A championships in the mile at the Terrier Invitational.

Sprinter R. J. Page (CAS’13), who struggled with injuries a year ago, has won four races this season and was named America East Male Track Performer of the Week after winning the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes at the Battle of Beantown. And veteran sprinter Joel Senick (COM’11), who has two sprints wins, and thrower Dan Withrow (COM’11), who has excelled in the shot put, have both recorded IC4A-qualifying marks.

The America East Indoor Track and Field Championships are being held at BU’s Track & Tennis Center, 100 Ashford St., on Friday, February 18, and Saturday, February 19; free and open to the public. Call 617-353-4628 for more information.

Swimmers and divers compete in Maryland
In another major contest that starts today, the BU women’s and men’s swimming and diving teams compete in the America East championships at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The main enemy at the four-day event is the UMBC team, which has won seven consecutive men’s crowns.

For the Terrier women, who are going for their third straight title, all eyes are on three returning winners from last year’s conference championship. Amanda Schmitz (SAR’12) defends her titles in the 200-meter butterfly, 400-meter individual medley, and 500-meter freestyle. She is the league’s top qualifier in all three events, and she holds a conference-best time of 1:59.83 in the 200-meter butterfly.

Maria McIntyre (SED’11), who won the fastest race in the pool last year—the 50-meter freestyle—enters the meet with a season-best time of 23.73. On the boards, Melinda Matyas (CAS’13) hopes to continue BU’s tradition of dominance in the diving events. Last year she swept both the one- and three-meter boards en route to being named the America East Diver of the Meet—the highest honor for a diver during the season.

While the women defend their title, the men are hoping to oust defending champions UMBC, the only team to top BU for the past three years. Kyle Ernst (COM’11) will lead the charge in the 100- and 200-meter breaststrokes—two events in which he owns school records, as well as the top times in America East.

Daniel Kempf (CAS’12) will defend his title in the 100-meter freestyle, and he is also favored to win in the 50-meter freestyle. On the boards, Tanner Knorr (CAS’11), who reigned supreme a year ago, seems poised to repeat the feat. Last year he was named the AE Diver of the Meet. This year, Kempf scored a 305.48 on the three-meter, and holds the league’s best score.

The BU teams are hoping for more than glory this year. They travel to Maryland without diver Bailey O’Brien (CAS’11), who learned recently that she has stage IV metastatic melanoma. O’Brien had one of the best meets of her career at last year’s conference championships, where she finished third on the three-meter with a score of 443.05 and second on the one meter with 439.50.

To help Bailey and her family with medical costs, the team has started the Bailey O’Brien Fund. Send contributions, with “Bailey O’Brien Fund” written in the check’s memo line, to:
Boston University Gifts and Records
595 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 700, West Entrance
Boston, MA 02215

The America East Swimming and Diving Championships are being held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Md., on Friday, February 18, and Saturday, February 19. Call 617-353-4628 for more information.

Stefanie Howlett can be reached at howlett@bu.edu. Matt Caracappa can be reached at caracapp@bu.edu.

2 Comments

2 Comments on At Home and Away: America East Championships

  • danny on 02.17.2011 at 11:48 am

    BAILEY O'BRIEN

    God be with you bailey in your battle. The carey’s are thinking of you.

  • Anonymous on 02.19.2011 at 12:03 pm

    Bailey O'Brien

    We are ALL pulling for you and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Can’t wait to see you back on the dive board!!!

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